Dec 4, 2022
Food in Cebu
Location : Cebu City, Philippines
Cebu (or the Philippines for that matter), isn't known for food (compared to Thailand or Vietnam), but there are one-ofs that are simply a gem and not to be missed. It may take some asking around with the locals on what is 'not to be missed'. At some point, you come to a concensus. While Cebu City is the convergence of all these regional specialties, still the local towns pride themselves in being the original and being the best - e.g. lechon in Carcar.
Moreover, the best dishes really are the ones served in homes where time-honed traditions have perfected a recipe that has been passed on through generations - e.g. the family that owns Hostel 7 Cebu has been in the food business for years and when they prepare a banquet for friends (picture below), it becomes obvious they know what they're doing.
Lechon (in Carcar)
Cebu has always been known for its lechon, even though lechon can be had anywhere in the Philippines. Cebu prides that its lechon is already infused with flavor that lechon sauce is no longer needed. Its reputation exploded when Anthony Bourdain remarked, "best pig ever" in his global hit tv show, No Reservations.
Hands down, the best lechon and the most affordable lechon can be had at the Carcar Public Market, about an hour's bus ride south from Cebu City. At the market, they have a whole section offering lechon only. I've had lechon several times in Cebu City and chicharon in Carcar in a bus (en route to Moalboal) but I haven't really made a food trip to Carcar for lechon alone. When that happens, I'll update this blog.
Itchoy's Batchoyan (near Vicente Sotto Hospital)
The best one-ofs would have to be an obscure local carinderia that shot to fame because of good food. The acid test is when you see rich people eating there. Rich people won't be caught dead eating in a low-end place. One such place is Itchoy's Batchoyan. I'd been there a few times and so far, everything I ordered hit the spot. It's always inviting to come back to taste the rest of what's on the menu. It has been featured in food tv shows and food magazines. It fact, it was a rich guy who recommended me to that place. Given its popularity, they polished the place a bit, so you can say it's now an upscale carinderia***.
*** An upscale carinderia is a precarious tight-wire act on the chasm of cheap carinderia and a pricey restaurant. It's as sparsely populated as being yakapmates (bordering on that narrow and volatile spectrum between friends and lovers, neither belonging in either but spanning both worlds). Few have attempted, but fewer still have succeeded.
Linarang (at the Pasil Fish Market)
Linarang is a popular thick fish stew with tomatoes, green mangoes, and black beans. It has its origin at the fish market in Pasil. The sidewalk eating stalls by the fish market offer the freshest and best tasting of them all. serving times vary, some saying as early as 3am, but when I went there, Larang was still being cooked and won't be ready by 7am (pictured below). I have had Linarang near Fuente Osmena and one in Pasil. Initially, I thought it would be similar to the Bouillabaise of Marseille, France. But Larang is actually a sour soup that is best taken when it's still piping hot from the wok. The many types of Larang are named after the fish used in the broth - e.g. Jack Larang for Jack fish (mamsa).
Entoy's Bakasihan (in Cordova)
To be honest again, I haven't been, but this place is strongly recommended by locals. It's just too far and too many rides from where I am to get there.
Food in Cebu will always be a work-in-progress because it's impossible to know where all the good spots are. Even with Larang, with so many eating places serving it, the only reliable way to know who's best is to try as much of them as possible.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Lazi Fiesta(May 15, 2023) Like most fiestas in the Philippines, Lazi's fiesta is over the top - you drown in food. Not to be outdone, the house where I stay had its whole pig roasted on a spit (lechon)...more »»
More on Cebu City:
About Cebu City
Cebu City Google Map
Cebu City, Philippines
Cebu City to Camotes Island
Cebu City to Camotes Islands
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete
Cebu City to Dumaguete by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Cebu City to Dumaguete via Liloan (bus, boat, jeep, tricycle)
- Cebu City South Terminal - take the southbound Ceres bus to Liloan, P200, 5 hours
- Liloan - the bus drops you off at the Liloan Port where you board the Fastcraft to Sibulan, Negros Oriental, P62, 30 mins
- Sibulan - at the Sibulan Port, the jeeps wait for Fastcraft passengers to take them to the public market in Dumaguete, P12, 30 mins.
- Public Market - at the market, you can take any tricycle to your hotel, P8 for short trips
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
Cebu City to Tagbilaran, Bohol
- Weesam Express - Pier 4, departs 9:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 6:30 PM, 2 hours
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - Pier 1, departs 6-7-8-9:20-10:40-11:40AM, 1-2-4:20-6:35PM, 2 hours
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63 932 8734 885 / +63 922 8572 300
- SuperCat (2GO) - Pier 1, departs 08:15-13:30-15:10-18:00-19:40
+63 32 233 7000
- Lite Ferries - Pier 1, departs daily 12:30pm, 10:00pm and 1:00pm (Mon, Wed, Sat)
Standard (Lying) Php 150, Tourist (Lying Aircon) Php 340
+63 977.822.5483 / +63 998.999.5483 / +63 925.347.5483 / (032)255-1721 to 26 / (032)414-9001 to 03
email@example.com / www.liteferry.com
Cebu City to Siquijor by Boat, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor, via Tagbilaran
Cebu City to Siquijor by Bus, via Liloan (Santander)(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Leaves Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) at 8 pm (Sundays 1 am), heads south to Liloan (Santander), takes the ferry to Larena Port, Siquijor, docks around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because when it reaches Larena Port (Siquijor), it continues its trip around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena. It spares you the cost of hiring a tricycle or habal-habal which charges exhorbitant fares. Besides, it's a long trip to the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Cebu CityCEBU CITY
More on Cebu Province:
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
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